Xbox Series X GPU is better than any Navi GPU released so far

AMD's semi-custom RDNA 2-based GPU in Xbox Series X beats the pants of ANY Navi GPU on the PC in 2019.

7 minutes & read time

AMD launched its Navi GPU architecture this year with the release of the Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 5700 this year, cutting them down into Navi 14 parts for the new Radeon RX 5500 XT -- but the new RDNA 2 architecture will be powering the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles.

Xbox Series X GPU is better than any Navi GPU released so far |

The fine folks at Digital Foundry have done an Xbox Series X deep dive, where they think the GPU frequency on the custom Navi-based design in the Xbox Series X console will be higher than any of the Navi-based Radeon graphics cards in the PC.

Digital Foundry said: "It would also suggest frequencies that are appreciably higher than those seen in AMD's Navi-based GPUs - which reverses the situation with the current-gen machines, which are typically underclocked compared to equivalent PC parts. Increasing both area and frequency inevitably pushes up power consumption way beyond anything we've seen in a home console".

Their report continued: "Our measurements for the first-gen PlayStation 3 currently top the power consumption charts at 209W during gameplay. Based on what we know of Navi GPUs from the existing, seemingly less capable Radeon RX 5700-series, not to mention the size of the Series X casing, I wouldn't be surprised to see the new console move beyond 300W".

There's one thing that Digital Foundry are missing here -- they're going on the fact the Xbox Series X and its semi-custom chip is anything like a traditional graphics card. It is not. It is a semi-custom design based on the Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures (the new RDNA 2-based cards should arrive in the form of the Navi 20 GPU in new Radeon graphics cards in 2020).

My industry sources have said that the Navi 20 GPU will be a "proper 4K" GPU, and that the semi-custom design chips for the new consoles when added with GDDR6 memory, technologies like Variable Rate Shading (which we're going to go into detail on in a future article) and the fact Microsoft and Sony can finely tune every single part of their console from hardware to software -- the experience on consoles will be unmatched on the PC (for the cost).

Xbox Series X coverage:

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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